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Waste Not, Want Not: What to Know About Composting at Home

Creating a garden or flowerbed that can come back for a season or two is a talent that requires not only a green thumb but soil and compost rich in nutrients and minerals. For the gardener who wishes to create their own compost, the process is easy and can save money on mulch or other store bought soils.
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Creating Compost
When
creating a compost pile, choose a spot in the yard that will not be disturbed by animals or children. This spot should be near the waterspout, but not so close it gets washed away. It should be relatively dry, unless there is rain and it would be ideal if there were shade in this spot as well. It will keep the compost pile cool while completing the decomposition process. Some gardeners choose to create their compost in a wooden box to keep it separated from the dirt. The box makes stirring the compost easier because it is in a separate container.

Compost Materials
Once the spot and container for the compost is chosen and built, choose the materials that will be placed into the compost pile. Typically, these include any unused fruits, peels, vegetable left overs, lawn clippings, dry dead leaves, any tree waste, like branches and twigs, and leftover coffee beans. Some gardeners use the remains of stalks and husks to help with the decomposition. After all the materials are placed into the container, water is used to wet everything. Then the compost pile is left alone to decompose.

Optional Covering
Covering the compost pile is also a good idea. It will keep bugs and other animals out of the pile and will allow the water to keep the waste moist enough to continue the decomposition throughout the year. A tarp, which can be purchased at any farm or garden online store, can be used to keep the pile exactly the way the gardener wishes. It will also help keep the smell of the decomposition in the container and not disturbing the gardener.

Time Frame
The decomposition of the materials depends upon how much heat and water is used in the pile. It can take anywhere from three months to a few years for the pile to decompose. If the decomposition of the pile is needed quickly, placing a few items into the box will start the process, allowing the gardener to have some compost when they need it. You can also find products like fertilizers that can speed the process up at places like
Nature Safe.

Creating a compost pile does not need to be difficult or overly-complicated. Using these easy steps will help create compost that will nurture a garden for several seasons.



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